preschool

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Third time a charm? State again seeks federal preschool funding

Connecticut leaders are asking the federal government for $47.6 million so hundreds of foster and homeless children can attend a high-quality preschool. Though children from all families in poverty will be eligible for the expanded preschool program, the state says it will give priority to children who are homeless or in foster care. Continue Reading →

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Malloy, lawmakers: dueling plans for ‘universal access’ to pre-k

When Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed providing “universal access” to preschool, he said it would cost the state an additional $51.1 million a year. When Democratic legislators released their plans two months later to provide “universal access,” they said it would cost the state $10 million a year. Why such a huge difference? Continue Reading →

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Democrats unveil plan, and funding, for step toward universal pre-K

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Thousands of Connecticut students start kindergarten each year already trailing their peers academically because they didn’t attend preschool. Democratic legislative leaders announced Wednesday they intend to pass legislation that will pay for thousands more children to enroll in public schools’ preschool programs. Continue Reading →

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Connecticut’s early education plan gets a C, no federal funds

The U.S. Department of Education has rejected Connecticut’s request for $37.5 million in Race to the Top funds aimed at overhauling day care centers and preschools by attempting to ensure they are safe and providing educational value. “The State does not present a High Quality Plan to improve the effectiveness and retention of Early Childhood Educators who work with Children with High Needs, with the goal of improving child outcomes,” one of the three federal judges who graded Connecticut’s application said. Over the past two years, 20 other states have won a combined more than $1 billion in federal money to fund early education reforms. This was Connecticut’s second bid for money to improve early child care programs and its fourth failed attempt to land Race to the Top money. “It’s a competition,” said Myra Jones Taylor, the executive director of the state’s Office of Early Childhood. “There was always the one guarantee that not everyone would be funded.”

Included in the state’s lengthy application was the “highest priority” to reform the Care 4 Kids program, in which the state subsidizes child care costs for low-income families so parents can work. Continue Reading →

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